In my last blog, I got as far as to tell you abut our good start with beating Finland 2-1 in the Algarve Cup. Well, it would come to show that the rest of the matches did not carry the same good feeling. The second team we played in Portugal was the USA. The USA came out aggressive and so did we. None of the teams could really settle any play in the first 20 minutes, and it went back and forth between the teams. Then after 20 minutes, it was downhill for Norway and a good climb uphill for the US. They took more and more over and won 2-0 in the end. Well deserved if you ask me. The US played up to their potential and came off as a very solid team, while as we have a ways to go before our potential is reached. Hate to loose, but (we) lost against a better team.
After the US game, there were two days until we met the very strong Japan team. We had analyzed Japan’s games against the USA and Finland, and we knew that this was a very strong team. They are all really hard working (players) and carry great possessing skill in their play. Our plan was to go out aggressively and deny them to ping the ball around too much. Again, in the first 20 minutes, we managed to do so and got to quite a few chances, but after 20 minutes, Japan took more and more over. This was by many means a closer game than against the USA, but once again I have to admit that their 1-0 win was deserved.
One win and two losses meant third place in the group, and we were to play Denmark, who made the same position. For me that meant playing most of my teammates. Exciting! Well, I was excited to see them, but the game itself was not very exciting at all. You could tell that players from both teams were tired and there was really no pace in the game. It was 6-6 in goal chances, but the game ended, 0-0, and the game was to be settled on penalties. Luckily, we won that, and I can avoid getting made fun of at training every day. Boring and bad game, but good result. I’ll take all the wins I can get. All in all, that left us with two wins and two losses. We were not pleased with that at all. Right now we are not performing well enough and not even close to our potential. Many of the players, me included, have been training hard lately, and you could tell that we are tired and not in top form. Luckily, that means that we have been training well and hopefully that will pay off when we are getting closer to the World Cup. After all, that is when we need to be in top form. We should not be too worried at this moment. We will come back stronger!!